Photo: Ali Cherkis

Half Waif pays tribute to family in new song and badass fantasy video “Swimmer”, announces album

Having already shared three brilliant singles this year, we’d suspected a new album was on the way from Half Waif and today she confirms that she has a record called Mythopoetics coming out on July 9 through ANTI-. The 12-track release features all three of the recent singles as well as today’s brand new offering “Swimmer”. Nandi Rose gives us the back story, saying:

“I wrote Swimmer after visiting my aunt, who has Alzheimer’s. I’ll never forget the summer we were swimming at the lake where our family has a cabin – her mind was already slipping, but her body was still strong enough to swim across to the other side. It was incredible, how both things could be true. Now the only way I can reach her is through music. I sing for her with my hand on her shoulder, feeling the soft weight of her body through the blanket, pouring all of the love I have from my voice into that warm arm. I try to reconcile what is still here with what has already gone.”

We’re already well aware that Half Waif is a deeply compassionate soul, and “Swimmer” is yet another shining beacon of her wells of empathy. From syncopated and hesitant beginnings, where she remembers the love sent out to her weakening aunt, Half Waif builds a crystalline palace of synths, a safe space to reflect on the ravages of time, the miracle of the body, and the bond that she has for her family. When “Swimmer” reaches its emotional apex and she blasts out “I wanted to sing for you / so I’m gonna sing for you”, the force of her grace is practically blinding, and we feel safely wrapped in her musical gravity.

The video for “Swimmer” is the culmination of the story started in the videos for “Orange Blossoms”, “Party’s Over” and “Take Away The Ache”, and brings her badassness to a whole new level – as well as featuring her mother. Nandi Rose says:

“The idea for the music video came to me while I was recording ‘Swimmer’: a motorcycle chase, a quest to find a magic flower, and then the final scene where the flower is laid at the feet of an old woman, who bursts into light and is set free. I’ve always loved fantasy, the way it can capture the most poignant human emotions even when wildly surreal things are happening. When I brought the idea to Kenna, it set us on a journey to create a four-part music video series that develops the story further, starting with the first single ‘Orange Blossoms’ – in which the elf princess is woken from a kind of catatonic state and inspired to go outside to plant a golden seed – and ending with ‘Swimmer’ – when the princess (now a motorcycle-riding warrior, after being spurned one too many times from one too many parties) retrieves the golden flower and returns to her castle to set her future self free. We filmed the castle scene at the property where my aunt lives, and the older version of me was played by my mom, which made it all the more meaningful. It’s a kind of personal mythology.”

Half Waif’s new album Mythopoetics comes out on July 9 through ANTI- (pre-order/save). You can find Half Waif on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.